I have to admit I've known about the rule of thirds for a long time and I DO think about it when I try to compose a photo most of the time BUT. . . I never realized that I wasn't quite reaching that "sweet spot" in my photos until I got them on the computer, cropped and recomposed. Look at these photos of weeds in our yard. In both shots of the white flower and the purple flower, the top photo is the one I re-composed on the computer which is more on the "sweet spot."
If you don't know what all this talk is about, imagine you drew a tic-tac-toe type graph on top of a photo. You will have two horizonal and two vertical lines drawn that are 1/3 away from top and bottom border of the photo. There will be 4 "sweet spots" where these lines cross. It makes the photograph more interesting and "artsy" if you place the item of interest or interests on these spots. Even in a portrait, concentrate on the eyes and the mouth. I haven't tried that one yet. I only put the entire head on the spot. May have to try that next!
DON"T DO THIS: I can't tell you how many times I have done this! I was on my way to the doctor's office early this morning (I found out I have strep) and had my camera with me. As I was riding along, the sunrise was just gorgeous with all the clouds and the color. So I found a good place to pull over, got out and snapped a pretty good photo. As I was checking what I'd just photographed (and it WAS beautiful - I was so proud of myself!), a message pops up on my camera that said NO CARD IN CAMERA!!!!! Ugh!!!! I just hope I'll have another opportunity to get that shot!